Background Briefing: December 24, 2019
Evangelical Leaders Flock to Trump’s Defense
Following an editorial in the evangelical magazine founded by Billy Graham, Christianity Today, which was critical of so-called religious leaders who support an immoral and corrupt president, we assess the spiritual health of the Religious Right with Anthea Butler, a Professor of Religious Studies and Graduate Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The author of numerous books on religion in America, her forthcoming book is on evangelicals and racism and she joins us to discuss how evangelical leaders refer to Trump as “God’s wrecking ball” and cynically support this thrice divorced libertine who was a close friend of the convicted child molester and sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein because Trump delivers on their political agenda. And while the celebration of the birth of Jesus is largely a commercial holiday rather than a religious observance, the majority of America’s evangelical leaders continue to cheapen and corrupt the teachings and lessons from the life and sacrifice of Jesus who dis not carry an assault rifle, did not hate gays and did not shake down poor people for money while living in mansions and flying around in private jets.
A Former Leader of the Religious Right on the Corruption of the Evangelical Movement
Then finally we investigate further the monumental hypocrisy and fraudulent morality of the so-called “Christian” leaders of the evangelical movement and speak with Frank Schaeffer, a best-selling author of fiction and non-fiction and nonfiction. His parents, Francis and Edith Schaeffer, were world-famous evangelical speakers and authors, and he previously worked with such figures as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Focus on the Family’s James Dobson. Frank Schaeffer, however, felt increasingly alienated and experienced a crisis of faith that would ultimately lead to his departure from the evangelical movement. The author of a number of books, his latest is Letter to Lucy: A Manifesto of Creative Redemption – In the Age of Trump, Fascism and Lies. With Trump’s followers considering him God’s “Chosen One”, we examine the need for a new authentic grassroots religious revival in this country in which faith and deeds combine to bring about economic justice, reflecting the true gospel and teachings of Jesus.